Kerry Williams

Regarded by his many fans as a home town hero, Kerry Williams, who was born and raised in Cairns, has been playing for the Cairns Taipans since 2009.

In a large city it is common for a major league player to be born in the same town as the team they play for, but for a small town like Cairns it is a rare treat.

Kerry started his career playing for the Cairns Marlins, and next to the birth of his two sons, says his biggest achievement was been winning the Queensland Basketball League Championship in 2007.

From there he was offered a scholarship with the North Idaho Junior College in the United States.

"It was great experience and I learnt really good skills to further my basketball aspirations," says Kerry.

"Not only that, being away from home you learn to be a self-motivator and do things for yourself."

After two years in the United States Kerry returned and was recruited to the Cairns Taipans.

It is Kerry's love of the game that inspires him to get up every day and walk on to the basketball courts.

During his basketball journey Kerry has had a number of mentors including Cairns Taipans Coach Aaron Fearne who helped him develop his career and enabled him to be recruited to the NBL, Brad Burdon his first Rep Coach and Phil Pierce, his Physical Education teacher at Cairns West State School, who encouraged him to pursue basketball.

But Kerry says it was Denis Donaghy, former President of the Cairns Taipans, who really pushed Kerry to reach for the stars.

Kerry plans to play for a few more years in the NBL and wants to be a mentor to other young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

"I encourage our youth to have a goal, stay in school and do well," says Kerry.

Kerry says that through the sacrifices, such as not partying with friends and attending state and national basketball competitions, has been a small price to pay for being recruited to the top level of the basketball league.

His advice to youngsters is to stop being ashamed, to say hello to everyone, to be proud of your talent and what you achieve.

"But just as important, I believe that you should never let anyone hold you back," Kerry says.

DESCRIPTION: Photo courtesy of Duncan Watts